I became involved in felting because of a trip to the New England Fiber Festival with my sisters-in-law. I pick up a lot of skills as a puppet designer and performer; over the years I have learned so many that there isn’t enough time to explore them as much as I’d like. But I was fascinated by the sculptural process of needle-felting, and I bought some supplies to try it myself. Later I was fortunate to take a workshop with Andrea Graham, a marvelous felt artist. She taught us how to create 3-dimensional “pods” which are begun with needle-felting and finished with wet-felting. This was my first introduction to wet-felting, an entirely different way of working with the wool. I knew that I wanted to create a bird, so that was my first attempt at what has become a major line of work.
The birds are made of solid wool, not stuffed. They are festooned with felt flowers, spikes, wings, beads and marbles. Each is entirely unique. Many hours of work go into each bird, as I have to create the embellishments as well as the form of the bird. Once the bird is assembled, it is wet-felted for several hours. The wool shrinks, the bird stretches and lengthens, and the result is a lightweight (5-6 ounces), sturdy, tightly felted form. I have a great deal of fun creating these beings and seeing where the wool and the colors take me. They fill my head, and I am always thinking about what to try with the next bird.
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This page was last updated on 8/16/2016. Text and images copyright 2016 by Bonny Hall. All rights reserved.